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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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RuPaul Episode 9

"Ru looked as frustrated as I feel. She seems done with Nina, rooting for Valentina and forced to kick her out." -Steve

"I saw it with a large (mostly drunk) crowd, and the gasps and anger were loud and strong" -Aaron

 

 

Interviews

James Ivory (Maurice) 4K Restoraton!
Betty Buckley (Split)

Melissa Leo (Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)

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Wednesday
May172017

Yes No Maybe So: "Battle of the Sexes" (plus some Holly Hunter trivia)

By Nathaniel R

Keep talking, Bobby. The more nonsense you spout, the worse it's going to be when you lose.

One of this fall's potential crossover films, in that it has both crowd pleasing and awards appeal (should it be any good that is) is the retelling of the super-famous Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs tennis match from 1973. Though I was alive at the time, I was way too young to know anything about that. I grew up in the age of Martina Navratilova vs Chris Evert and John McEnroe vs Everyone, though, and that match was a common cultural reference point. And tennis was the only sport I really fell in love with. Why? Couldn't say for sure but I suspect it was because it has more easily understood interpersonal dynamics (just two people... or four) at war... only non-violently. My best childhood friend and I even played tennis regularly together. I never got very good but later in high school he made the team! Which is all a terribly long way of saying, tennis movies hold instant interest in theory. They don't make them very often and they're largely unsuccessful when they do. Don't believe me, try to name more than one or two! (I'll wait).  

So let's breakdown the first trailer to Fox Searchlight's Battle of the Sexes after the jump. Are we optimistic, worried, or somewhere inbetween?

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May172017

Stage Door: The Pulitzer winning "Sweat"

Stage Door bringing you intermittent theater reviews when we manage to get there. Here's Nathaniel R

Awards have a way of hyping certain creations, especially the modest kind, to a point where disappointment is an obvious risk. The gifted playwright Lynn Nottage is only 52 but Sweat is already her second Pulitzer winner for Drama (the first was for Ruined). This places her in the rather astonishing company of prolific geniuses Tennessee Williams and August Wilson, and just one prize away from Edward Albee (!) and marks her as the most awarded living playwright and the most awarded female playwright, living or dead. As a result I spent the first act of Sweat wondering what the fuss was about. The Fuss does not identify itself in the second act but by then you can meet the play halfway with its likeable flawed characters and appreciate Nottage's earnest thematic thrust as the play mourns the loss of intersectional solidarity, without clumsily naming it as such...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May172017

Cannes Best Actress: Awarding the Best Since 1946

Bonjour! Robert Balkovich here. As the 70th Cannes film festival kicks off let's take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the most bold, daring, and 100% correct Best Actress awards the festival has given out. 

When you look at the list of names all together it's hard to argue that it isn't one of the best collection of actors ever grouped. The festival's penchant for awarding the best-of-the-best, started early...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May172017

Linkbug

Before we get to the links please click on this photo to your left, the teaser poster for Yorgos Lanthimos's The Killing of a Sacred Deer. (Lanthimos last brought us the incredible The Lobster so we hope he's on a roll.) The poster is so beautiful we don't even mind that Nicole Kidman isn't on it! That's high praise if you haven't been paying attention.

Links 
Los Angeles Times Jimmy Kimmel will return to host the Oscars again in March. Same team this year, producers too.
Interview Ethan Hawke talks to his friend Alessandro Nivola (easily one of the best stars among the under-famous and under-celebrated division) about his current hot streak
Fathom Events will broadcast the current London production of Angels in America to select US movie theaters in late July. Click there for ticket sales in your area
Awards Daily keeping Oscar buzz alive all year for Cannes contenders is a tricky feat - I agree with most of this but disagree with the example of Midnight in Paris. I'd argue it wasn't the Cannes launch that made that film an instant Oscar contender but its big box office at home (for Woody) the month after the festival --another reminder that it can be really advantageous to strike while the iron is hot though few films dare and instead let their Cannes hype dwindle into nothingness before theater launches half a year or longer later. 
Playbill ABC will air a live Little Mermaid special on October 3rd which combines the 1989 classic with live celebrity performances with "cutting edge technology." What the what now? This sounds potentially awful and disastrous but also, because of that, a 'must see'

Script Notes, a writing podcast, talks to Chris McQuarrie about moving from being a writer to a writer-director and the difficulties of moving from indies to tentpoles
Criterion Corner David Hudson aunched his new column "The Daily" which I will surely be stealing links from at some point for these roundups unless I got to them first. Let's start now with these two...
Reverse Shot has a new series called Executive Order which takes a deep dive into the individual  T****'s EOs and fuses them with a film that is in conversation with those ostensible ideas or power plays. This link is about the Muslim ban and segueways into a discussion of the fine gay drama Henry Gamble's Birthday Party
NYT how action roles have changed for women (with Theron, Jovovich, Yeoh & Rodriguez)

I object!
/Film "Why Marvel Can't Fail" I'm linking this piece not because I like it but because I have to take issue with it. There has literally never been a long-running franchise or a single studio that has never failed. James Bond had flops. Tarzan had flops. Disney was once dying! Superman eventually fell out of the sky (though he's flying again). Marvel and Pixar, the current studios who inspire this type of article/argument, will not change that. It is an impossibility to always succeed. It's wiser to understand this because one of the quickest ways to insure failure is to assume infallibility. (Also I take issue with the use of "stickiness" here. Sticky as a concept in business may be morphing but it didn't mean 'traps you into brand loyalty' originally. I know because I bought a whole book on the concept when "sticky" became a thing ten years ago.

TV
New York Magazine (classic link since Roseanne is topical again) Roseanne Barr on the addiction of fame, her eponymous show, Hollywood sexism and Charlie Sheen
Esquire Corey Atad ranks every episode of Twin Peaks. This brought back so many memories and it's true that the show's quality varied wildly
Coming Soon Netflix is adapting the fantasy novels The Witchers Saga to series 

Off Screen
The Atlantic "My Family's Slave" incredible long read about slavery, shame, family demons, cultural norms, and more

Wednesday
May172017

Today's 5: Frances Ha, Howard Ashman, Mr Dietrich...

Humpday for all your office drones. Need a distraction? Quick boost? Here are 5 anniversaries and a suggestion as to how to honor each. Try 'em out and see if they make the day go faster.

May 17th History

2013 Frances Ha finally opens in theaters after an excruciating wait from its rave reviews at festivals the fall prior. It was everything we hoped for and then some and did well in our annual awards right here

In its honor today: dance and leap run like Frances, especially when you're on the way to the ATM...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May162017

Cannes Sales: Actress Titles in Development

by Seán McGovern

As Le Festival de Cannes begins and films in and out of competition are set to sparkle or explode, some are generating heat without even being made yet, as Variety reports. Scattered among some the hottest titles for sale are actresses who are always deserving of a big hit or Oscar buzz.

Tomei and Gershon having a wonderful time in 2004

Shotgun
Directors: Hannah Marks and Joey Power
Cast: Maika Monroe, Jeremy Allen White, Marisa Tomei, Gina Gershon

A cancer dramedy starring Maika Monroe (It Follows). The names that stand out are Gina Gershon and Marisa Tomei, no doubt somehow aunts or mothers to the youngsters in the lead...

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Tuesday
May162017

Here it comes...

The 70th annual Cannes Film Festival begins in just one day -- the official website even has a countdown clock which says 1: 3:56:0 as I publish this-- with Pedro Almodóvar presiding over the jury and Nicole Kidman starring in not one, not two, not three, but four debuting projects. One a scale of 1-100 how much do you wish your were flying to the south of France right about now?

Tuesday
May162017

YNMS: "Home Again"

Chris here. Big Little Lies may have been the kicked off a seemingly endless lineup of projects to obsess over for both Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern (welcome, new fans of both - it's nice here), but what about those of us craving more Reese-surgence?

Fear not because Reese Witherspoon will be return to the big screen very shortly and she's back in the warm fuzzy mode this time for Home Again. Those warm fuzzies will come from the cashmere sweater universe of producer Nancy Meyers and her first-time writer/director daughter Hallie Meyers-Shyer. Witherspoon stars as a single mother who invites three young men to live with her before they all promptly fall in love with her. How could they not, right? Call it Big Little Guys.

Can you believe it's been since This Means War (eek, remember that one?) since we've had her in a romantic comedy? Take a look at the super fun trailer and we'll break down the Yes No Maybe So after the jump...

Click to read more ...

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